National hockey players ‘boycott’ camp, demanding dues (Lead)January 8th, 2010 - 7:43 pm ICT by IANS
Pune/New Delhi, Jan 8 (IANS) National hockey players said Friday they are “boycotting” the ongoing camp in Pune, revolting against the non-payment of sponsorship money, match fees and bonuses. Hockey India (HI) quickly summoned some seniors to Delhi to douse the fire.
The players, who are preparing for the World Cup at Pune’s Balewadi Complex under chief coach Jose Brasa, met Thursday night and decided to “boycott” the camp until the issue is resolved.
The players had written a letter to HI president Ashok Kumar Mattoo over non-payment of sponsorship money.
“The players met Thursday evening and decided that they would boycott the camp until the matter is sorted out,” Rajpal told IANS.
Mattoo said he will meet “coach and some players” Saturday to get a first0-hand knowledge of their demands.
“I have got the letter only Wednesday. The letter is vague and it is not clear what they want,” Mattoo told IANS.
“So I have called the national coach (Harendra Singh) and some senior boys for a meeting here tomorrow to discuss the issue. Let me understand what exactly they want. Only after hearing them out, I will be in a position to think of remedial measures,” he said.
On the reported boycott of the camp by the players as a protest against the non-payment of their match fees, Mattoo said coach Harendra told him that it was a rest day.
“I spoke to Harendra and he told me that today is a rest day. But there are some whispers that a revolt is brewing and that’s why I want to hear them out personally.”
Harendra, when contacted by IANS, confirmed that officially Friday and Saturday are rest days.
“Mr. Mattoo, in his reply to the players’ letter, said he would meet them when they are in Delhi Jan 9 and discuss the issue. I read out the letter at the meeting. I can’t say what they have decided, but officially we have two rest days,” said Harendra.
Goalkeeper Adrian D’Souza said the players were disappointed since they have not received any money from HI.
“We want the dues pending for the last one year to be cleared. It includes the tournaments where we have won medals.
“Also, a player would like to have a fixed salary when they are playing for the country,” said D’Souza.
Sources in the camp said that the players were not paid any sponsorship money for any of the matches they played since the formation of ad-hoc hockey body.
HI and Sahara India Pariwar were involved in a sponsorship row which has been settled only two months ago.
“Now that the issue has been resolved, the players want their remuneration paid without any delay,” a source said.
Players have also asked for a bonus for their bronze-medal finish in the Champions Challenge tournament in Argentina in December.
Some hockey afficionados are intrigued by the timing of the so-called boycott of the camp. Even the ousted Indian Hockey Federation chief K.P.S. Gill sees a connection between the timing of the election and the players rising in revolt. They are not ruling out the hand of some hockey powerbrokers in the uprising.
HI is struggling to hold the election Jan 29 trying with many influential groups trying to grab power.
“It is understandable that are angry because they have not received any sponsorship money from HI so far. They are wearing the Sahara logo. But the issue was in the court and now that it has been resolved, they will get the money. When they were quiet for so many days why this sudden upsurge,” one official closer to the powers that be said in condition of anonymity.
This is the second time a revolt has taken place in the camp after the reported fall-out between chief coach Jose Brasa with some senior players before the Champions Challenge tournament. Mattoo rushed to Pune then to settle the matter.
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- Hockey issue resolved, players to continue with training (Lead) - Jan 10, 2010
- Relent or juniors will take over: HI tells (Lead) - Jan 12, 2010
- Hockey players to continue with camp boycott - Jan 10, 2010
- Brasa's fallout with Hockey India is over Prabhjot's recall - Aug 27, 2010
- Hockey standoff continues, Gill asks players to end strike (Roundup) - Jan 12, 2010
- HI announces squad for Sultan Azlan Shah - Apr 19, 2011
- Hockey players up in arms against coach Brasa - Nov 18, 2009
- Mattoo brings about momentary peace in hockey camp (Lead) - Nov 19, 2009
- Shah Rukh pitches for hockey team - Jan 09, 2010
- Hockey India serves ultimatum to players - Jan 11, 2010
- Hockey players rejoin national camp - Jan 14, 2010
- Sahara India renews sponsorship deal with Hockey India - Feb 08, 2012
- Sports ministry not keen on foreign hockey coach - Apr 15, 2011
Tags: ashok kumar, ashok kumar mattoo, boycott, brasa, chief coach, hand knowledge, hockey players, match, national coach, national hockey, pune, remedial measures, reply, rest day, rest days, revolt, souza, sponsorship money, thursday night, whispers